Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Why anti-Ecuador?

Article from The Nation posted May 11 entitled Ecuador Gets Chavez'd.

This article discusses how Ecuador (along with several other developing central and South American nations) has been the playground for rich to get richer, and how it has come at the expense of the poor people of the nation.

Ecuador has a new Presdient, Alfredo Palacio, who is trying to take some of the profits from high oil prices and use those on social programs for the people of Ecuador - but the World Bank loans that Ecuador has require that the nation can use only 10% of oil profits for expenditures for the people of Ecuador...70% must be paid to wealthy bondholders (the majority of whom are not Ecuador residents) and 20% must be set aside for bondholder contingencies. Palacio, a doctor by trade, is refusing to go along with that extortionist agreement - he wants to spend the oil windfall on the people.

The article describes Palacio this way:
Palacio seems an unlikely target of US official assaults. He comes off like a cardiologist you'd meet at an AMA convention. That is, in fact, what he is: a heart doctor who practiced in the United States for a decade, a man outside politics, affiliated with no party, brought in by Gutierrez to build a national health program. Hugo Chávez he is not: Palacio is conservative, pro-market, pro-American, but his patient, his nation, is in bad shape.

Other portions of the World Bank agreement call for electricity rates to rise to double the amount charged in the US. This seems like a deal which was implemented to help a handful of wealthy investors and energy corporations take advantage of a developing nation. Hopefully, Palacio will be willing to stay the course to the benefit of his people, rather than capitulating to the whims of a few rich and powerful.

3 comments:

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